At today’s meeting of the City Council’s Governance and Priorities Committee (GPC), members debated various options to fund the activation of the Roadways Emergency Response Plan (Plan), which prompted city-wide snow grading and planned snow removal for every street following the December 2022 major snowfall. Snow grading and snow removal on local residential streets are not currently funded in the annual $14.8 million snow and ice management budget.
“To be clear, residents will not see an additional tax increase in 2023 related to the City’s ongoing city-wide snow response. The City will proceed with a borrowing strategy to fund the anticipated $20 million cost of the 2022/2023 response. Further options will be brought back to City Council for a combination of dedicated property tax and deferral of capital funding for the 2024 budget deliberations to repay the borrowing and build a base for future emergency snow responses,” says Clae Hack, Chief Financial Officer.
“Through this direction, it’s clear Committee members are committed to ensuring sufficient funding to enact the Roadways Emergency Response Plan when required while also trying to minimize the impact on taxpayers.”
The total cost of the December 2022 city-wide snow clean-up is estimated to be up to $20 million, about $6 million more than in 2020 because of more accumulated snow and higher costs of diesel fuel and equipment.
The storm in November 2020 is the most recent event with similar snowfall at 30-40 cm and was the largest single snowfall event since January 2007. The Administration applied the lessons learned from the clean-up response to develop a comprehensive Roadways Emergency Response Plan (Plan). While it’s difficult to determine the frequency of large snow events requiring emergency response, with assuredness, more frequent and erratic weather events appear to be increasing globally.
Find the full agenda from the January 17, 2023, Governance and Priorities Committee and the link to watch the archived video of today’s decision-making later this week at Agendas, Minutes and Meeting Video on our website.